GenStone Faux Wall Panel Review
When creating this outdoor kitchen, we chose to build the base out of concrete masonry unit blocks to help support the 1300-pound Dome Ovens pizza oven. As a result, we didn’t want to take on the additional task of using actual stones. While looking for stone veneers we came across GenStone faux stone wall “Iron Ore” panels and decided to test it out.
What is GenStone Faux Wall Panels?
GenStone is a panelized system that is made from closed-cell high-density polyurethane foam. It is also lightweight and easy to work with and fastens to the wall with adhesive and screws. When compared to traditional stone and mortar methods, it significantly reduces the project install time.
GenStone has several styles and colors to choose from and many other products such as faux brick, faux wood, and wraps for pillars. We chose Iron Ore as our faux stone color.
- Faux Brick Panels – 5 colors
- Faux Stone Panels – 9 colors
- Faux Stone Columns – 8 colors
- Faux Wood Panels – 5 colors
GenStone Faux Wall Panel delivery
Once purchased, GenStone ships the product direct to your location.
The order will arrive in several well-packaged boxes, limiting damage.
Pro Tip- Prior to starting your product, inspect the shipment and ensure nothing is damaged.
GenStone Faux Wall Panel | Installation
The installation is rather simple. Like with any project, I would suggest watching the GenStone installation YouTube videos which walk you through the installation process.
First, we snapped a level reference line across the area that I was working on with chalk. I followed this line to make sure that I was continuing on a level track.
Then, we installed one corner piece. The corner pieces made this project very easy because there is no cutting and they cover 2.81 sqft.
Once I installed the corner piece, I continued by installing the long panels. Because the panels are 41″x 11.25″, the installation progresses quickly.
GenStone Faux Wall Panel | Installation Tips
To install the panels, we first apply Loctite PL3 to the back of each panel.
Next, we fastened the panels with Tapcon concrete anchors about every 8-10 inches. The panels overlap and hide the fasteners.
We added one screw into the grout line on the lower left side and one in the middle of each panel to help secure the panel as recommended. We continued working our way to the right of the outdoor kitchen until the panels were completed.
Any necessary cuts can be easily made with a hand saw of any type. I ended up using a drywall saw that I had because of the easy-to-grip handle and quick-cutting blade. I also used a miter and a table saw at times, but they are absolutely not necessary if they are not available to you. Because the panels are made from rigid foam, the blade cuts through the panel easily.
The installation was remarkably easy, and fast (compared to a stone installation). GenStone eliminated the need for messy mortar mixing and saw cuts. Not having to mix mortar allowed us to pick away at this project when we had some free time.
GenStone Faux Wall Panel Quality of Product
The GenStone panels are rigid and the paint is durable. Once secured the panels are even stronger. Prior to starting this project, I was very nervous about installing faux stone made out of foam. Some of my “pro” mason buddies really gave me a hard time. However, as soon as I applied the first panel I knew that they were going to work out well.
The GenStone faux stone is cast from real stone which allows for deep grout lines and a realistic look. It truly looks like a stone veneer wall.
Concerns | Testing
Our immediate concern with this product was, will this foam chip off when someone bumps into it, or if its hit by the weed whacker or lawn mower?
Prior to installation we secured some paneling to an extra block and ran it through a torture test. For testing purposes, we attempted to scratch the paint off, dent it with a hammer, crack it by stepping on the edges, and then took a gas trimmer to the faux stone. We also used a propane torch and it did catch on fire, but then went out about 30 seconds later. While the foam didn’t seem to burn, the glue and the paint did burn for about 30 seconds.
Overall the GenStone is really tough, but I would treat this faux stone like vinyl siding to prevent unnecessary damage.
Pro Tip – GenStone provides a touch-up kit and we were able to blend and repair accidental blemishes easily.
Warranty | Customer Service | Other Products
GenStone has excellent customer service. They are very quick to answer the phone or chat via the website. GenStone has a 25-year limited warranty, and a color fade warranty. With this warranty, they offer a refundable percentage of the purchase price depending on how long the stone has been in use.
Regarding maintenance, in most cases normal rainfall is sufficient to keep it clean. Some may think that it may not last as long as real stone, but I think that is a good thing. When styles change and you are ready to remodel years down the road, it will be much easier to paint or strip the panels to give the original surface a new look.
Room for improvement | Purchasing suggestion
GenStone is an excellent DIY product. Contractors can also benefit from customers who choose this product because of the quick and clean installation. If you are handy, I would budget for the extra 10% in material as normally suggested.
No matter what there will be some pieces in which you have to create your own shiplap edge and it’s a fairly easy thing to do. If you aren’t so handy and don’t have too much extra time for this project, I would suggest ordering extra panels. At the small cost of a few panels, this can really be helpful for someone who wants to save some time on cutting the shiplap edges. Although cutting the edges was easy and fairly quick, this is where I spent a good amount of time cutting my final pieces. Lastly, unused panels can be returned.
Final Thoughts and Cost
In conclusion, we think GenStone is an excellent product for some. It is strong, durable, and backed by warranty. we would definitely use this product in other parts of my house and I may eventually use it around my fireplace, foundation, and my front porch pillars in the near future (keep an eye out for more coverage).
The biggest thing that impressed me with this faux stone was how realistic it looked and how quickly the project was completed (without the mess of mortar and stone dust). The way the product is designed, the seams are hidden very well. Because there are four different panel patterns, the stone also does not look repetitive. Installation was clean and so easy that most people can do it. The large panels made this installation go very quickly. Although this faux stone may be similarly priced to real stone, the easy installation is where you will save thousands of dollars and a lot of time compared to an actual stone installation.
Buy GenStone Now
A GenStone Iron Ore 41″x 11.25″ panel is $54.99 each which covers 3.2 sq. ft.
For this outdoor kitchen, we needed 21 Panels, 14 Corners, a tube of Big Stretch Caulk, and a tube of Exact Color Match Caulk which costs $2,029.63, including shipping. Additionally, we spend about $100 on adhesive and screws.
GenStone is available at Home Depot, Lowes, or direct at GenStone.com.